Reading Services

Services

Reading Services

Today’s medical imaging allows doctors to see inside the body with greater clarity and detail than ever before. If your doctor has recommended a medical imaging test, it is for the purpose of looking at a specific area inside the body to help make a diagnosis and support clinical recommendations.

The type of equipment used for your imaging test depends on the area of the body being imaged. We offer the following services at the Reading location.


MRI


MRIMagnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is one of the most technologically advanced diagnostic tools available. It uses a powerful magnet, low intensity radio frequency pulses and computer technology to create detailed images of the soft tissues, muscles, nerves and bones in your body. In many instances, it replaces the need for x-rays, hospitalization and exploratory surgery. There are no known side effects of MRI, and it uses no radiation.

Contrast Media

Certain types of MRI scans require the use of a safe paramagnetic agent or contrast media. This is to enhance the blood vessels or certain body parts for the accuracy of your imaging test. The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has requested manufacturers of gadolinium based contrast add additional warnings to their product labels. To read the FDA warnings regarding gadolinium contrast agents visit their website and view “The Information for Healthcare Professionals” document. You should receive complete instructions concerning the use of a contrast agent from your physician when he or she orders the test. Tell your physician before your exam if you have ever had an adverse reaction to contrast media.

Preparing for your scan

In general, there are no special preparations to follow before your exam. Because MRI uses a strong magnetic field, metal objects may interfere with the scan. For your convenience, we provide a place to store your keys, jewelry and other valuables during the exam. We ask that you wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing, but you may be asked to change into a hospital gown for image quality and safety reasons.

Please check the following list carefully. All metallic/surgical implants must be assessed for safety before undergoing any MRI procedure. Common implants that may not be safe for MRI procedures include the following:

  • Pacemaker
  • Aneurysm clips in the brain
  • Inner ear (cochlear) implants
  • Implanted spinal cord stimulator
  • Metallic implants
  • Metal fragments in one or both eyes

Also, please alert our staff if you:

  • Have dental bridges
  • Wear a hearing aid(s)
  • Have ever been a metal worker
  • Are pregnant or think you might be

Because a paramagnetic agent (a type of contrast media) may be used, please tell your physician if you:

  • Are pregnant or think you might be
  • Are breastfeeding
  • Have anemia or any diseases that affect red blood cells
  • Have asthma or other allergic respiratory disorders


Computed Tomography (CT)

CT scanThe CT scan, or Computed Tomography scan, is an advanced diagnostic test that uses x-rays, a special scanner and a computer to produce detailed images of a specific area of your body. These images, when studied in sequence, can give your physician a 3-D view of your body to result in a more accurate diagnosis.

Contrast Media

Certain types of CT scans require the use of a contrast media. This is to enhance the blood vessels or certain body parts for the accuracy of your imaging test. Contrast media may be given orally and/or intravenously, and may cause you to feel warm, or experience a metallic taste in your mouth. Tell your technologist immediately if you begin to itch, feel short of breath or experience discomfort.

If a contrast agent is used, it is recommended you not eat or drink anything for four-six hours prior to the exam.

Preparing for your scan

Your physician will provide you with specific instructions depending on the part of your body being scanned. Some examinations require a special diet or medication before the exam.

  • Tell your doctor and the technologist if you are pregnant, think you might be or are breastfeeding
  • Tell your doctor and the technologist if you are allergic to, or have ever had any reaction to iodine, contrast media or shellfish
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing, but you may be asked to change into a hospital gown You may be asked to remove hairpins, earrings and other objects that may interfere with the CT scan


Ultrasound

UltrasoundUltrasound is a diagnostic procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce high-quality images of soft tissues and motion within the body. Ultrasound involves no x-rays and can provide medical information that, in the past, may have required surgery.

Ultrasound can detect aneurysms, blood clots, damaged heart tissue, abnormal growths and diseased tissue; during pregnancy a baby’s size, weight, position and physical condition can be determined. Ultrasound also is used to diagnose and treat muscle injuries and some joint problems.

Preparing for your scan

Most ultrasound exams require little or no preparation. In some cases, you may be asked to avoid gas-producing foods for one-to-two days, drink specific types and amounts of fluids, empty your bladder or follow other special instructions.


X-Ray

x-rayX-rays were the first radiologic technique used and are still the most commonly ordered in diagnostic imaging. X-rays can be obtained quickly and are inexpensive. Therefore, x-rays are often used as the initial imaging modality. They are often the only imaging required for diagnosis for many diseases; however, an abnormality may be noted on plain film which could require further study with a more advanced imaging equipment such as a CT or MRI.

Contrast Media

Certain types of x-ray scans require the use of a contrast media. This is to enhance the blood vessels or certain body parts for the accuracy of your imaging test. Contrast media may be given orally and/or intravenously, and may cause you to feel warm, or experience a metallic taste in your mouth. Tell your technologist immediately if you begin to itch, feel short of breath or experience discomfort.

Preparing for your scan

Your test requires no preparation at all. You may eat and drink as you normally do. And, although you may wear any clothing you like, please avoid wearing any metal objects, such as buttons, zippers or buckles as they can interfere with the scan.


Bone Densitometry

DEXAOsteoporosis is the loss of bone mineral density (BMD). Knowing your BMD measurement now is the first step toward preventing problems often associated with this common disease.

DEXA bone densitometry tests are easy and painless. They also are an important part of healthcare programs designed to prevent bone fractures associated with osteoporosis.

Knowing more about the testing process – how it works and what you should do beforehand – helps reduce anxiety and makes you a better-informed patient.

Understanding DEXA Bone Densitometry

A DEXA bone densitometry scan measures your bone mineral density (BMD) or bone mass.

Your physician can use the results of your test to recommend treatment programs designed to slow down or even reverse the degenerative effects of osteoporosis. In this way, bone densitometry measurements are an important part of proactive treatment programs designed to prevent loss of bone mass and avoid debilitating bone fractures caused by osteoporosis.

Measurements of bone density can help with the following:

  • Detect osteoporosis before bone fractures occur
  • Predict your chances of future bone fractures
  • Determine your rate of bone loss
  • Monitor the effects of bone replacement therapy

Why DEXA Bone Densitometry?

Bone densitometry tests are performed with a bone densitometer. Although there are several types of bone densitometers, measurements obtained using DEXA (dual energy X-ray absorption) densitometers are clearly regarded as the most accurate. This is because DEXA densitometers precisely measure BMD at the spine and hip, which are the two sites that have the greatest potential for a disabling fracture.

Our DEXA densitometer uses a scanner, computer technology, and an extremely low dose of radiation to generate your BMD measurements. In fact, DEXA bone densitometers use less than one-tenth the amount of radiation of the normal chest X-ray.

Based on the results of your exam, your physician may recommend bone replacement therapy and follow-up bone densitometry or improvements in your bone mass due to bone replacement therapy.

Preparing for Your Bone Densitometry Test

Your bone densitometry test requires no preparation at all. You may eat and drink as you normally do. And, although you may wear any clothing you like, please avoid wearing any metal objects, such as buttons, zippers or buckles as they can interfere with the scan.

Your Bone Densitometry Test

During the exam, you will lie on a table under a bone density scanner. Your technologist will be seated in the room with you. Once your exam starts, lie still, breathe normally and rest comfortably – the exam is absolutely painless. Depending on the type of exam your physician has requested, your bone densitometry test should take only a few minutes. A total body measurement will take approximately 15-to-20 minutes.